President Biden and Vice President Harris issued a statement on Friday, commemorating the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, noting, among other things:
The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to codifying Roe v. Wade and appointing judges that respect foundational precedents like Roe. We are also committed to ensuring that we work to eliminate maternal and infant health disparities, increase access to contraception, and support families economically so that all parents can raise their families with dignity. This commitment extends to our critical work on health outcomes around the world.
The word “abortion” was never mentioned.
The USCCB’s public affairs office responded:
In a statement today, President Biden and Vice President Harris marked the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which overturned all limiting restrictions on abortion across the nation, calling the decision an advancement of women’s rights and health. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities responded:
“It is deeply disturbing and tragic that any President would praise and commit to codifying a Supreme Court ruling that denies unborn children their most basic human and civil right, the right to life, under the euphemistic disguise of a health service. I take this opportunity to remind all Catholics that the Catechism states, ‘Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.’ Public officials are responsible for not only their personal beliefs, but also the effects of their public actions. Roe’s elevation of abortion to the status of a protected right and its elimination of state restrictions paved the way for the violent deaths of more than 62 million innocent unborn children and for countless women who experience the heartache of loss, abandonment, and violence.
“We strongly urge the President to reject abortion and promote life-affirming aid to women and communities in need.”
CNA added some context:
Biden has repeatedly emphasized his Catholicism, attending Mass the morning of his inauguration and citing St. Augustine of Hippo in his inaugural address. He has put a Pope Francis picture in the Oval Office.
Even on Biden’s first day in office, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki cited Biden’s Catholicism when asked questions about abortion.
At a Jan. 20 press briefing, Owen Jensen of EWTN News asked Psaki what Biden plans to do regarding the Hyde Amendment and the Mexico City Policy, which Biden has opposed because they limit abortion funding.
“Well, I think we’ll have more to say on the Mexico City Policy in the coming days,” Psaki said.
“But I will just take the opportunity to remind all of you that he (Biden) is a devout Catholic, and somebody who attends church regularly,” she told reporters. “He started his day with attending his church this morning.”